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Ecobee camera update adds Apple HomeKit support — and perhaps a cheaper subscription

Ecobee camera update adds Apple HomeKit support — and perhaps a cheaper subscription
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Ecobee camera update adds Apple HomeKit support — and perhaps a cheaper subscription

Ecobee digital camera replace provides Apple HomeKit assist — and maybe a less expensive subscription

Ecobee’s SmartCamera has acquired a firmware replace which will curiosity Apple customers who’re feeling somewhat burnt-out on subscriptions. The digital camera, which doubled as an Alexa speaker when it launched this April, usually has the usual good digital camera options: you possibly can stream video from it to your cellphone totally free, and with a $5-a-month subscription you possibly can have it report video and notify you of any motion (or simply human motion, in case you choose). However in the present day’s replace provides Apple HomeKit Safe Video assist, and it might offer you one other, cheaper solution to report and retailer that footage.

When you’re somewhat unfamiliar with the service, you’re in all probability not alone. HomeKit Safe Video was launched at WWDC in June of 2019, however to date solely a handful of cameras assist it. Like Ecobee’s service, it enables you to stream video to your iOS units totally free, supplied you’ve an Apple TV, HomePod, or stay-at-home iPad that may act as a HomeKit hub.

If you wish to report video, you’ll have to pay for Apple’s 200GB iCloud subscription, which prices $2.99 a month. However that’s cheaper than Ecobee’s service, and in addition consists of additional house on your iCloud backups, Apple Picture Library, and so on. You received’t have to fret about all that recorded footage consuming up your iCloud storage. As a HomeKit Safe Video person myself, I can inform you that Apple doesn’t rely the video in direction of your storage restrict (although the service solely retains recorded clips for 10 days, versus Ecobee’s 14 days).

If you have already got a tool that may act as a hub, $2.99 a month versus $5 a month might appear to be a very good deal, and in case you already pay for additional iCloud storage the service is included in your invoice. It’s a little bit of a tougher promote in case you even have to purchase an Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad, although. If you wish to report multiple digital camera, you’ll additionally see much less financial savings: Apple requires the $9.99-a-month 2TB iCloud storage plan to report as much as 5 cameras (Ecobee or in any other case), which is identical value you’ll pay for limitless recording on a number of Ecobee cameras.

Earlier than deciding to modify to HomeKit and ditch the Ecobee app, it’s best to know that Ecobee tells GadgetClock that Apple’s House app doesn’t assist the digital camera’s means to pan and tilt (different HomeKit cameras have the identical limitation, too). You would possibly need to preserve the Ecobee app round for that, or purchase a less expensive HomeKit digital camera to start with. I personally use Homekit Safe Video to handle my Logitech Circle 2, and it really works effectively for its major function: not having to pay an additional month-to-month charge to see what horrible catastrophe my cat has brought on in the course of the evening.

A night-vision image of a cat sitting on a piece of furniture with its eyes glowing and mouth open

Pretty. Thanks, HomeKit Safe Video.

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